Rotary Club – April 2024

Rotary: Annual Philanthropy Foundation Dinner

Sun Lakes Rotary Foundation 2000 Board (left to right): Sun Lakes and Chandler residents Victoria Flatley, Dave Ouradnik, Elaine Ralls, Howard Rudge, Bill Giessing, Dennis Nelson, Kristine Schultz, and Bob Phillips; not present: Maureen Alger

Dr. Honora Norton, RCSL Public Image Director

The Sun Lakes Rotary Foundation 2000 is the philanthropic arm of the Rotary Club of Sun Lakes (RCSL). The mission of the Foundation is to promote charitable giving and to provide support for important community-based projects and programs, as well as numerous vital international programs. At the Sun Lakes Rotary Foundation’s annual dinner, Catholic Charities MANA House (a transitional living program for veterans experiencing homelessness) was awarded a $5,000 check for a communication system at MANA House. Ms. Owens provided the attendees with an overview of MANA House’s veteran services program.

At the dinner, Sun Lakes Foundation 2000 Chair Bob Phillips honored Howard and Loie Rudge, Fred Crist, Dick Thomas, and Dan Halloran with Philanthropy Legacy Awards.

The Rotary International Foundation transforms Rotarians’ gifts into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world. At the RCSL Foundation annual dinner, RCSL Foundation Chair Chuck Synder recognized the club’s latest Paul Harris Fellow honorees: Jon Lyons, Peter Meade, and David Mork. Continuing the legacy of Rotary International’s founder, the Paul Harris Fellow program recognizes individuals who contribute or who have contributions made in their names to the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.

For more information about RCSL, see

RCSL Serves Community

A check for $1,000 was presented to the Chandler/Gilbert YMCA to go towards their Water Safety program. Front (left to right): Jon Lyons, Rotary Club of Sun Lakes; Gavin Martin, executive director of the Chandler/Gilbert YMCA; and Jillian Turner, senior program director of Teens; back (in the middle of the kids): Kristal Richards, lead Y Academy teacher

Dr. Honora Norton, Public Image Chair

Rotary Club of Sun Lakes (RCSL) serves the East Valley in many ways. RCSL presented a $1,000 check to Chandler/Gilbert Family YMCA. The donation will be directed towards scholarships to the YMCA’s Safety Around Water Learn How to Swim Program. Safety Around Water is a program that shows parents, caregivers, and children the importance of water safety skills and provides access to water safety lessons.

Another of RCSL’s community service projects is delivery of SunBird News and Sun Lakes Splash newspapers and Source Books. Once a month, the Sun Lakes Splash makes its appearance on over 16,000 Sun Lakes driveways. If you happen to be in your front yard when this happens, you will see a car slowly pass by with a passenger tossing a newspaper onto your driveway. Who are these people? Sun Lakes Rotarians, spouses, and friends.

For more information about RCSL membership and/or projects, see

Rotary Club Honors Teachers of the Month

Dr. Honora Norton, RCSL Public Image Chair

The Rotary Club of Sun Lakes (RCSL) congratulated and presented awards to the club’s Chandler Unified School District Teachers of the Month. According to RCSL Education Chair Gary Kay, the award selection is based on teacher’s total years of service in the field of education; examples of how the teacher goes above the normal requirements and enhances student education; the respect shown for the teacher by her/his peers, students, and parents; and the teacher’s involvement in extracurricular activities and service in the community. A $500 check is awarded to the honored teacher: $200 from the RCSL, $200 from Earnhardt Automotive Center, and $100 from Trust Bank.

Christina Pjura, 2nd grade teacher at CUSD Chandler Traditional Academy – Independence Campus, was named RCSL’s December 2023 Teacher of the Month. Christina, who has 15 years teaching experience, earned her bachelor’s degree in education and psychology from The College of New Jersey and is certified in both elementary education and middle grade mathematics. Christina’s education philosophy is believing learning should be fun, exploratory, and collaborative. She tries her best to create an engaging environment for her students by each day trying to be better than the day before and to instill that desire in her students as well.

Dr. Bonnie Flores, Honors Geometry/Honors Algebra 1 teacher at CUSD Bogle Junior High School, was named January 2024 Teacher of the Month. Dr. Flores, who has 25 years teaching experience, earned her B.A. in elementary education from the University of Florida and continued at UF to complete her M.Eds. in curriculum and instruction, specializing in both secondary school math and science. In 2012 she graduated from Nova Southeastern University with her doctorate in education, specializing in both educational technology and distance education, as well as modern learning theory. Dr. Flores’s education philosophy is to make positive growing experiences by working as a team, teacher-child-parent. Communication, consistency, and positive reinforcement are keys to a child’s success. She believes a teacher’s role is to guide, facilitate, engage, and entice the students’ search for knowledge as they learn to find answers to their questions and get down to the grit of it!

Rotary Club Names Jon Lyons Rotarian of the Month

Jon Lyons received his Rotarian of the Month plaque from RCSL President Victoria Flatley.

Dr. Honora Norton, RCSL Public Image Chair

Rotary Club of Sun Lakes (RCSL) named Jon Lyons RCSL’s 2024 March Rotarian of the Month. Jon, a Chandler resident, is a reliable and indispensable leader for Sun Lakes Splash and Source Book deliveries/club fundraiser. Jon is a past RCSL club president and currently serves as a Rotary International District 5495 Assistant Governor and on several district committees. He serves as the club’s key liaison with the ASU Interact Rotary Club and regularly attends their meetings.

For more information about RCSL, see